Book Fight!

Tough love for literature

Episode 99: Karl Ove Knausgaard, A Time for Everything


Everyone these days is talking about Karl Ove Knausgaard, in particular his ambitious six-volume series of autobiographical novels, My Struggle. But fewer people seem to have read (in English, anyway) his first and second novels, which he wrote before turning his lens squarely on himself. It’s the second of those books we’re digging into this week, the doorstop-sized A Time for Everything, which recounts an reimagines several (mostly Old Testament) Bible stories while also charting the history and evolution of angels. Oh, it also tells the story of a fictional 16th-century theologian who saw some angels in the woods as a kid and basically freaked the fuck out.



We try our best to unpack the novel, and debate whether we should be impressed by its ambition or turned off by its sometimes-rambling narrative. We also discuss the pedantry of Medieval and Renaissance theologians, and seeing familiar stories from new, Nordic angles.

This week’s pick was the result of our listener poll, following another year’s successful fundraising drive. Thanks again to everyone who donated money, and thanks for all your book nominations!

A couple links specific to the Knausgaard book. Here’s a Guardian review that sounds kind of a cautious note about the book, praising its Biblical retellings but not sold on its essayistic jags. Here’s a more positive review from Bookforum. And here’s an interesting 2013 interview with Knausgaard from The Paris Review.

As always, we’re happy to hear what you think about the stuff we talked about this week. You can email us directly, hit us up on Twitter, or just leave a comment here on the site. Also: we’re on Facebook, and gradually getting better about posting studio pics and links and such. So come visit us over there, like our page, etc. etc.

You can stream today’s episode by clicking on the little player thingy below, or download the mp3 file to play on your favorite device. Or visit us in the iTunes store, or wherever you normally get your podcasts, where you can download back episodes and subscribe (for free) so that you never miss another weekly installment.

Thanks for listening! And if you like the show, tell your friends!


Download Episode 99 (right-click, save-as)


Author: mikeingram25

writer, editor

2 thoughts on “Episode 99: Karl Ove Knausgaard, A Time for Everything

  1. Pingback: 2015: The Book Fight! Year in Review | Book Fight!

  2. Pingback: Episode 193: Summer of Selfies, Karl Ove Knausgaard (My Struggle, Book 2) | Book Fight!

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